Listening is important (listen to your teacher!): CD’s such as DUO or Eigonou. Simply hearing a sentence and reapeating it in your head while you are walking helps you to absorb English structure, etc. In terms of becoming conversant in Japanese, for sumo Yokozuna Harumafuji couldn’t express himself in the language for a long period of time. Then one day all the language he had been absorbing in his sumo life just exploded into speech!